Wednesday, September 22, 2010


For those of you coming late to the game, no worries
you can catch up to the first part of our epic cupcake
war by clicking here.
Basically, we're testing out a vegan chocolate-chocolate
cupcake vs. a non-vegan chocolate-chocolate cupcake
represented by Tom and Jerry party favors, of course.
All of this is brought to you because of an experiment
for my son's recent birthday.
Post a comment today and win yourself some
ridiculously fun cupcake swag -- because
you just can't have enough of swag, right? Okay, yeah,
I love the word swag -- for no apparent reason other
than it means free stuff and it's fun to say! See below
for said swag. Okay, I'll stop now.

The Vegan Cupcake: Starring Tom


1 cup soy milk
1 tspn apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 tspn almond extract
1 cup all purpose organic flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tspn baking soda
1/s tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large
bowl and set side until it curdles. Add the agave nectar, oil, vanilla
and almond extract to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
In another bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda,
baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat until
no lumps remain.
Pour into cupcake liners until they are 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20
minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting:


1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegan margarine, softened
1tsp vanilla
1 cup agave nectar


In a small bowl mix together, the cocoa powder,
margarine, agave nectar and vanilla. Beat until
it is smooth. Can't get easier than that!

And now the dramatic conclusion!

Here were my categories for judging:

Taste: Okay, the vegan cupcake
won hands down. It was rich, moist
and although at first I felt like the
soy milk was too strong, after my
third or fourth, it really tasted just
right to me.
Also, although I am a sugaraholic,
buttercream worshipper of the first
order, the vegan frosting was silky
smooth and really had a wonderful
chocolate taste that wasn't buried
underthree cups of powdered sugar.

Winner: Vegan

Cost: There is no question. The organic ingredients for
the vegan cupcake were more expensive. Organic flour is
several dollars more expensive than the non-organic and
agave nectar is more expensive than regular or powdered
sugar and believe me it can be tricky to find organic or
vegan margarine.

Winner: Non-vegan

Appearance: This is totally subjective, but I really
loved the rich, dark colors of the vegan cupcake.
They just yelled "chocolate-chocolate" to me.

Winner: Vegan

Overall Winner: Vegan!!!

So, there you have it! Leave a comment or a
criticism today and get yourself entered in
the contest for swag!!!

Winner to be announced next
Wednesday (29th) while I
pack for my
Fatal Four Texas Tour!!!

THE TOUR: Maggie Sefton, Wendy Lyn Watson, Hannah Reed and Jenn McKinlay

September 30 - 7:00 PM Barnes & Noble La Frontera Village Round Rock, TX

October 1 - 6:30 PM Murder by the Book Houston TX

October 2 - 2:00 PM Barnes & Noble The Shops at La Cantera San Antonio, TX

October 3 - 2:00 PM Barnes & Noble University Village Fort Worth, TX


  1. I love the vegan recipe as my daughter is allergic to eggs and this does not have one in it, so I am passing along the recipe. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you in Texas if you are coming to Fort Worth.

  2. "soy milk was too strong, after my
    third or fourth, it really tasted just
    right to me."

    Tequila has that same affect on me

  3. Woo-hoo! That's cool about the vegan cupcakes winning out in the end. Sounds like an awesome recipe. Cost is just something that goes hand in hand with organic...maybe at some point the prices will start coming down for it.

    And Dave has gotten me laughing already...thanks, Dave!

  4. Dave you are too funny this morning. I will have to try the vegan it looks good. Wonder if the kids would noticed worth a shot.

  5. The vegan cupcake looks very appetizing.

  6. Susan, I will be in Fort Worth! Doh! I just remembered to add the tour dates to my post.
    Fort Worth: Oct 3 2:00 and the Barnes and Noble in University Village.

  7. Jenn, I'm so excited you guys are coming to my neck of the woods. I won't have to trek to The Poisoned Pen to see some mystery authors. I'm in the Austin area, so I'm planning on being at your first stop in Round Rock. Very cool!

  8. This is excellent! My niece is vegan and bakes cupcakes by the truck-load. I've sent her the link to this blog post, but if I win I will give the prizes to her. Unfortunately, I will not be able to see you in Fort Worth. It's just too far a commute from Halifax :-)

  9. I am Zita's niece! Being vegan, I could have saved you a whole lot of time and effort and told you up front that vegan cupcakes rule the world. ;) I love that you did this comparison and brought vegan baking to the attention of bakers who might not have otherwise thought about it. Bravo! (And my God, they are delicious, aren't they?!?)

  10. Dave,

    I laughed out loud! Nicely played, sir!

  11. Kay, I can't wait to meet you in Austin! Yippee!
    It's going to be a hoot!

  12. Zita, are you talking Halifax, Nova Scotia? I was just there in July! I do love that city. My favorite stop other than the garden, the wharf and the Citadel -- The Freak Lunchbox. The dudes and I LOVED it!!!

  13. Cute cupcakes. I have never tasted soy milk. I think this would be a good way to disguise the taste. Chocolate always help.

  14. I am talking Nova Scotia. Oh, yes...The Freak Lunchbox! I moved here in 1997 and I'm still in love with it =)

  15. runner10-

    I was told to Silk Soy -- less of a wheaty taste.

  16. Hi, Tracy!

    Yes, they are delicious and it feels good to give the dudes something healthy!

  17. If I still lived in Texas, I'd be first in line on that tour! I was surprised at the outcome, but I do like the idea of the vegan frosting, since I've never been a big buttercream fan. Will have to try at least that part...

  18. Adorable swag! What fun do have a war of cupcakes!


  19. I want to try this recipe. The soy milk is no problem, since we have that in the house all the time. Where do you find agave nectar? (Good luck on the Texas Tour.)

  20. Both look wonderful, but I'm not sure where to find some of the ingredients for the vegan cup cakes. I can tell you really like the vegan version. What do you think would be the results of the cup cake ware if you did a blind taste test? I know that if I told my dudes that it was vegan they might not even taste it. But they might not even notice if they didn't know. Which is why, I refuse to discuss cooking of any kind with the younger dudes.

  21. What a great foodie battle, Jenn! I loved your play-by-play and verdict. As for me, I'm pretty sure both would go down deliciously with a freshly poured cuppa joe. :)

    Have a GREAT time next week with Wendy, Hannah, and Maggie on your Fatal Four Texas Tour (take LOTS Of pictures)!

    Good luck to all commenters
    on winning that great cupcake swag!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  22. I'm not gluten intolerant but try gluten free baking when I can. I have found a gluten free "flour" for baking that I wonder how it would work in the cupcakes. And with the soy milk being strong flavored, there is chocolate soy milk that might decrease the soy flavor. Ah, the possibilities!

  23. even though I've never tried vegan cooking before I'm getting really tempted to try these...thanks for the recipe! :)

  24. Very interesting, Jenn. Some of us are avoiding soy, so that does complicate it a bit, but then we can always substitute a dairy product. BTW, runner10, Silk brand soy milk is fabulous. Try the chocolate or the eggnog.

    I do find it fascinating that you preferred the agave over powdered sugar. Agave never seems sweet enough to me, but I haven't tried it in icing. It is expensive, though!

    ~ Krista

  25. Very interesting recipe. Do you have to go to a Whole Foods type grocery to get the agave? Can you use non organic flour? Around here we only have the small health foods store and no grocery, so I'm sure the cost would be even more.

  26. Pick me!!! I have to make 120 cupcakes for a bridezilla in a month and I'm in dire need of inspiration.

  27. For anyone avoiding soy most grocery stores are now carrying a handful of other "milks." You can sub rice, oat, almond or even hemp milk.

    Of course the vegan cupcakes won, everything is better when it's vegan (as long as you don't tell anyone, otherwise they will write it off from the get go).